Real-world weight change among patients treated with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor and sulfonylureas for type 2 diabetes and the influence of medication adherence

Obesity Science and Practice. September 2017;3(3):342-351


The study aims to examine real-world weight change and the role of medication adherence among patients with type 2 diabetes who initiated one of three drug classes: glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA), dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor (DPP4) and sulfonylureas (SUs).


A cohort of patients initiating one of the three drug classes was selected from a large US database of integrated electronic medical record and administrative claims. Adherence was defined as per cent of days covered ≥80% during the year following drug initiation. Weight change was calculated from drug initiation (-180, +30 d) to 1 year (±90 d) later. Multivariate regression controlled for baseline differences between adherent and poorly adherent patients and the addition of another drug class during follow-up.


The study included 833 GLP-1RA, 2,272 DPP4 and 2,713 SU patients who contributed 2,279, 6,602 and 7,429 observations respectively. Patients initiating a GLP-1RA achieved the largest weight change (-2.46 kg of GLP-1RA, -1.26 kg of DPP4 and 0.18 kg of SU, P < 0.01). adherent glp-1 patients lost 1.73 kg more than poorly adherent patients, and adherent su patients gained 1.11 kg more than poorly adherent patients (all >P < 0.01). adherent and poorly adherent dpp4 patients experienced approximately the same amount of weightloss.>


Medication adherence can mediate observed weight loss in patients treated with a GLP1-RA or weight gain in those treatedwith an SU. Medication adherence was low in a real-world population, particularly for GLP-1RA, which displayed the strongest weight loss benefit. Because recent American Diabetes Association guidelines recommend selecting drug therapies that have a weight loss or weightneutral effect for the management of type 2 diabetes patients, patients should be encouraged to enhance their adherence to benefit the most from therapies that have weight loss properties.

View abstract


Carls GS, Tan R, Zhu JY, Tuttle E, Yee J, Edelman SV, Polonsky WH